04/19/2012 - A new poll finds that Americans overwhelmingly want better nutrition standards for the food and drinks sold in schools.
The poll results released today by the Pew Charitable Trusts' Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project find that 80 percent of American voters are in favor of national standards that would limit calories, fat, and sodium in snack and à la carte foods sold in schools and encourage the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy items.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to soon release new standards for foods sold in school vending machines, school stores, and à la carte lines in school cafeterias, foods that include sodas and other sugary drinks, fried and salty snacks, pizza, ice cream and French fries. Existing standards for these foods are 30 years old and don't reflect current nutrition science.
"Schools are taking considerable steps to ensure the meals they serve are more nutritious than ever before, but if students are surrounded by less healthy beverage and snack options, we're not doing everything we can," said Jessica Donze Black, a registered dietitian and project director for the Kids' Safe & Healthful Foods Project, in a statement. "If we want to succeed in turning around this country's obesity epidemic, ensuring that all of the foods and beverages sold in schools are healthy and nutritious is an obvious place to start."
Read the full Politics K–12 blog post, Poll: After Pizza, Potatoes, and Pink Slime Issues, Changes Favored, on Education Week’s website.